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microgreen growing soil coco coir pouring from a cup into a microgreen tray
August 26, 2022

Microgreens require light, porous, clean soil.

Seed germination and microgreen production start with the right growing medium or substrate. It is important to have a substrate with good physical characteristics, such as both air and water-holding capacity, as well as one that is pathogen-free. Microgreens are grown in high-density conditions. With many seedlings and roots in a small space, it is vital that the soil have the ability to retain both air and moisture. Because we eat a product that is harvested a half-inch from the soil, the soil must be pathogen-free to protect health.

Soils that are heavy, such as garden soils, retain too much water.

Waterlogged soil surrounding a plant's roots robs the roots of the oxygen they need to grow. It also gives just the right conditions for mold growth as well as damping off problems. The ideal soil retains enough moisture to provide just the right amount of constant moisture, as well as porous enough to retain oxygen to give the roots optimal growing conditions. Although garden soil may grow magnificent outdoor gardens, it lacks the drainage, aeration, and moisture control necessary to successfully grow microgreens.

Microgreens are harvested during the cotyledon stage.

During this period of growth, it is the breakdown of the starch in the seeds, the breakdown of phytate (which inhibits the absorption of nutrients in the body) as well as photosynthesis that is responsible for the massive increase of nutrients from seed to microgreen. Adding nutrients to the soil or water while growing to microgreen size is unnecessary.

So, no need for expensive mixes or supplements

The best soil for growing microgreens gives stability to the growing seeds, as well as a constant supply of just the right amount of moisture. It requires watering infrequently for ease of use, and it is organic and pathogen-free for safety. There is only one microgreen growing medium that meets all of these requirements and more: organic, triple-washed coconut coir.

The best growing medium for microgreens is coco coir

Coco coir comes from the outside part of the coconut. Think of a coconut like a peach. In the peach, we eat the 'flesh' and throw away the seed. In the coconut, however, we eat the 'seed' and throw away the flesh. As the coconut is harvested, the outer part, the husk, is cut off and discarded by the nut growers. It is this part that is turned into coco coir. Designed by nature to give the right nutrients to a growing seed (the coconut), it has exactly what microgreens need.

Other benefits of using coir are ease of use, zero waste, sustainability, and little to no cleanup. No dirt in the house!

There are different grades of coco coir

Coir has many uses, from gardening and soil erosion to ropes and fishing nets to upholstery and packaging materials. The destined use often determines how it is handled from grower to manufacturer.

To make the raw coir from the coconuts into the perfect substrate for microgreens, the coir must be combed, the natural salt eliminated by multiple washings, and the large fibers removed.

Coir that is prepared specifically for microgreens is grown organically, is triple-washed for salt removal, the large fibers combed out, and the resulting finer fiber is then pulverized and compacted, and cut to just the right size to make discs that almost instantly rehydrate to the exact amount needed for each 5x5 tray. This eliminates the need to rehydrate large blocks that have to then be re-dried over many days or weeks and stored in huge bins. It also prevents the possibility of contamination that can occur when rehydrating and storing large blocks.

We include organic coir discs in all of our kits. This makes growing microgreens even simpler for all ages, with no mess and no worries about what you are growing in. Add exactly 1/2 cup water to a disc, watch it rapidly expand and dump it into the tray. If there are children in the house, encourage them to participate. Watching the coir increase from a small disc to a cup of soil is always guaranteed to get a "Whoa! Look at that!"

Happy micro-farming!

Join Margo, the head microgreen grower with over 20 years of experience, and The Mighty Microgreen on the educational app, Volley for personal answers to all of your questions, comments, and concerns regarding everything microgreen. FREE access through 2022!

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